Glow in the Dark Sensory Bottles & 14 Free July 4th Printable Activities

Glow in the Dark Sensory Bottles & 14 Free July 4th Printable Activities

Celebrate Independence Day with these FREE July 4th printable activities & DIY glow in the dark glitter bottles!

I can't believe it's already July!

Man, summer sure can fly by if you're not paying attention ;)

If you have kids, this week will not get past you without them asking about picnics, parades and fireworks!  Which are all reasons to celebrate a little and enjoy some time together.

To keep the fun going all day long, we're sharing an easy sensory craft for the kids -- Fireworks Bottles!

They are awesome to look at and play with PLUS they have a special secret hidden inside.

And because the kids have to wait a little for the secret, we're also include 14 Free Printable 4th of July activities & games  (to make the waiting a little more bareable ;)

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Halloween Mystery Touch & Feel Game

Halloween Mystery Touch & Feel Game

Kids (and adults!) will love this fun Halloween game -- create your own DIY touch & feel mystery box or bags!

I wanted to create something easy but fun for the holiday with a little spooky but not to scary.  Mystery touch & feel boxes or bags are just the ticket!

I promise they are not so creepy (even though you could easily make it spookier if you'd like) -- it's always the anticipation that gets kids as they slooowwwly put their hand in the bag wondering what it will feel like.

This is so simple to do and such a fun activity for parties, trick or treaters or even as a Hallowen science experiment. 

And I bet you have what you need right in your house (just add the free printable tags we have for you below ;)

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36 Summer Sensory Experiences

36 Summer Sensory Experiences

Explore some of these summer sensory activities this year with your kids no matter what their age!

My kids are "touchers" -- as in, they always put their hands on things.

 

When they were young, I can't tell you how many times I said "Don't touch that one!" -- barbed wire, live animals, dog poop!

Yes, dog poop -- who knew it was such a kid magnet?!

But I did know that letting them touch as many things as they safely could would allow for wonderful learning opportunities!  They've always learned best when they can have a hands-on experience which is a very familiar thing for so many kids.

So when we plan out our summer activities, I love being able to give them lots of sensory experiences! It's the perfect time to get wet, sticky and try new things -- to paint, walk barefoot and explore the night.

It's the time of year when I initiate some of our creative family projects and plan some out-of-the-ordinary day trips.

So come explore with us as we share 36 Summer Sensory Experiences: fun ways to inspire kids, tweens & teens to touch, taste, smell, feel and hear the beauty of summertime!

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DIY Fairy Garden Ideas & STEM Activities for Kids

Enjoy these DIY Fairy Garden Ideas for kids that incorporate science, math & engineering learning!

Today we are combining a few of our favorite things -- gardening, fairies and STEM in this month's feature of manipulative play and small worlds for kids!

We've been talking about planting a Fairy Garden for a year now and finally got around to it this month when we celebrated my daughter's birthday. 

She loves the idea of small worlds and we both enjoy gardening so I decided to overlap those activities with a few science, math and even a cool engineering project. 

Come peek inside our Small World Fairy Garden and see how this fun activity will inspire kids to learn too -- plus we have some great resources so you can put together your own fairy garden this Spring!

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Halloween Glitter Glow Sensory Craft

I want to introduce you to our newest craft project -- we call them Frank, Pete & Mike :)

What else would you call a monster, pumpkin and mummy, right?

We loved making the Halloween Salt-dough Glitter Garland last year so I thought we'd try our hand at another glittery Halloween craft.

But we uped the anty with these -- we wanted something that was not only fun to make but was also interactive and had a sensory component to it.

Not to mention their awesome ability to go from day to night so the kids can enjoy it 24/7 -- they can even be used as a fun nightlight during the Halloween season :)

 

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18 Clothespin Math Activities & Games

Math is one of those topics that many kids find easier to learn if they can DO something with it. 

Instead of just working problems on a worksheet, learning becomes hands-on when you sort coins, pull out the tape measure or build items that will teach kids about shapes.

There are a TON of things that kids can use to make math fun (our 100 Items to Use to Count to 100 post shares a very large variety) -- and that's our goal:  to make learning fun!

So this month we are teaming up with a wonderful group of bloggers to introduce some super cool items from around the house that can be used in math activities.

What's the super cool item we are using today?

Clothespins!

And we've got 20 fun ways that your kids can practice counting, adding, geometry, fractions and more!

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Sensory Play: Creating a Rainbow

I'm sure you're familiar with the old saying idiom --

"March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb."

In the month of March, life seems to revolve around the crazy weather. 

And every once in a while, if you're lucky, you are treated to something beautiful ...

 

rainbow

a rainbow!

 

The thing about rainbows is that they are fleeting and something that you can only enjoy with your eyes.

And yet so darn beautiful!

So I thought we'd round up some beautiful color as we close out the month -- 35 rainbows that kids can touch, taste, smell, see and even hear!  

Now you can have rainbows even on those not-so-sunny days.

 

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The Amazing Scents of Christmas: A Sensory Activity for Kids

Have you ever had an experience where a certain smell brings back memories?

It happens to me every year at this time -- the scents of Christmas take me back to years past.

The wonderful aroma of cookies, the amazing smell of a fresh tree -- it's like I'm a kid again :)

So when I started brainstorming about which book we would feature as part of the Story Book Advent with Rainy Day Mum, it didn't take me long to decide -- we were going to share an activity from one of my favorite childhood Christmas books!

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25 Fun Ways to Have the Kids Join You for Coffee

I'm not sure if I've ever told you this but I am NOT a morning person.

Really, not at all.

Unlike my husband who's up at 5 every morning (I know!  He's crazy :), I would rather snuggle under the covers in hopes that the world will reconsider it's notion of early starts and just let us all get a little more shut eye.

I'm not the only one who thinks a little more sleep is needed -- have you read the new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to let middle school and high school students start their day later

Where's the petition?  I'm signing!

So what do you do to wake up a non-morning person and get her ready for a crazy day?

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15 Fall-themed Texture Art Projects

15 Fall-themed Texture Art Projects

We love to create art with textures! 

Paints and crayons are always more fun when you jazz them up with something cool like pinecones, felt or even food items.

Textured art offers kids the opportunity to not only create a masterpiece but to involve their senses in the art process.

One of my favorite things about textured art projects is searching for materials to use! 

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Party Games for Kids: Mystery Sensory Balloons

A fun party game for inside or outdoors with no mess!  Plus a great science & sensory activity for the classroom too.

So many kids love sensory activities from preschoolers to teenagers! 

Yep, even older kids (have you seen the new slime crazy?!)

Touching, squishing and running their fingers through all types of items helps to extend their learning and it's just plain fun too.

It's not always possible to have messy play as an option.  And sometimes, you want to keep kids guessing with an activity -- they do love surprises plus it enhances their critical thinking skills.

So what's better than a game, right! 

This Mystery Ballon game is perfect for birthday parties, backyard get-togethers or even a secret sensory science experiment for a classroom.

This game mixes sensory play with logical reasoning skills -- and it can be a fun way for some not-so-messy sensory fun too!

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Fine Motor Skills: Rainbow Rice in a Jar

Today's activity is perfect for working on those fine motor skills as kids build their own rainbow in a jar!

It's both a skill development exercise and a fun way to craft and decorate for Spring.

We wanted to go colorful and hope to bring the luck of the Irish to you as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day and rainbows.

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Candy Cane Play Dough and Play in Grandma's Kitchen

Do you ever remember playing in the kitchen while your mom or grandmother were baking? 

The wonderful smells and the fun conversations not to mention the amazing treats that came out of the oven! 

I know that technology and modern conveniences are great things but sometimes I really want to kids to experience life without all the bells and whistles.  So I thought I would 're-create' a day in Grandma's Kitchen as part of our Discover & Explore December Activities linky. 

This is the first post in our Vintage Play for Kids series where we'll introduce some great throw-back ideas that are new to our kids!

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Exploring the 5 Senses: A Science Experiment for Kids

This week, the Discover & Explore linky is diving into the 5 senses - things you love to see, hear, taste, smell and touch! 

When I think about the five senses, the first thing that comes to my mind is baking! 

So I thought we'd whip up a little fun in the kitchen today.

Most of the time, our kids only reap the benefits of OUR time in the kitchen.  But involving them in the process of cooking or baking is a real learning experience.  In addition to understanding more about what's involved in making their food, they can also learn some math and try new foods too.

For this activity, we created a tray of items we use when making oatmeal cookies or pumpkin bread and we played a mystery game with items from our baking cupboard. 

This activity is quick and easy to pull together -- and can also be adapted to include items that you have on hand in your fridge or pantry.

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